Thoughts on “A.Word.A.Day”

Previously I’ve plugged Anu Garg’s most excellent email subscriber service, A.Word.A.Day. Sign up and every day you get an email that takes about 15 seconds to read. Some days I click delete, most days I don’t.

Today’s word is “excoriate.”

verb tr.:
1. To severely criticize someone or something.
2. To strip off the skin.

Isn’t that great? The way those two meanings dovetail together? How severely criticizing someone is connected to literally stripping off their skin. That’s what it feels like; it’s right there in the root of the word, you idiot!

The email includes pronunciation, meaning, etymology, notes, and usage. Concise, clear, quick. Garg always concludes with “A Thought for Today.”

Today’s thought: “No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.” — Alexis de Tocqueville, statesman and historian (1805-1859).

Something to ponder in the early morning, the cost of war, and perhaps an inkling to how someone we love might feel when we criticize them. Just for clicking on an email. No wonder why The New York Times called it, “The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace.”


Weird day yesterday, with Farrah and Michael, two iconic figures closely connected to my childhood. This doesn’t make me feel old, exactly, but something akin to it. Mortal?

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